Raise your hand if this situation happens at your house: your stepkids enjoy spending time at your/Dad's house even though Dad isn't home.
Such is the case at our house.
I like to think I'm not complaining that my stepkids like hanging out here. In fact, I think it's a major score for me and my Stepmomming ability that I haven't chased the kids -- or their mom -- away screaming that they never want to come back.
In our situation though, my husband isn't really here most of the time so "Dad" nights have become "Stepmom" nights. I keep the kids for the night, we hang, make lunches and dinners, watch t.v., cuddle, etc. It's like normal Dad nights except, well, no Dad.
But Mom Nights and weekends where Dad isn't home are starting to be met with some resistance by the kids. In a perfect stepfamily world, the kids would be content no matter which house they were at; however, in our world, most of the kids' friends are in our (Dad and Stepmom's) neighborhood which means they'd sometimes rather have Stepmom Nights than Mom nights.
Case in point: When my oldest asked if this Labor Day weekend was a Dad weekend, my response that No, he wasn't going to be home and that it was a Mom weekend until Thursday was met with: "Darn. I wanted to hang out with _______ this weekend."
So now I start to feel bad. Here I am, looking forward to nearly a week alone in my house (a much needed week so that I can work on my book) and I all of a sudden feel bad that I haven't volunteered to host the kids for a day so they can hang with their friends.
Isn't this house just as much their house as it is mine? Obviously, they don't pay the mortgage, but by default, Dad's house = their house, right?
I feel like I'm at an emotional crossroads. I look forward to my time alone when I need to get something big accomplished and having the kids over gets in the way of that. On the other hand, if my own Stepdad would have told me that he didn't want me in the house for a weekend, I would have been devastated.
Ladies, what's your opinion on this? Does Dad's House become an open house while he's away or is it Stepmom's (or Dad's wife's) house unless Dad is here.